Downtown Oregon City Wins Prestigious National Award – Named Great American Main Street Award Winner, First in Oregon
Downtown Oregon City Association (DOCA) is one of three winners of the 2018 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) presented by National Main Street Center Inc., the country’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to commercial district revitalization.
Oregon City was nominated among nine other cities as a Great American Main Street Semi-Finalist. Semi-Finalists were chosen by a national jury of community development professionals and representatives of government agencies involved in economic development and historic preservation, exemplifying the power of the Main Street Approach(R) to transform traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts.
National Main Street Center officials say the work of DOCA has paid off in transforming a downtown industrial district into the civic heart of the city.
“We are extremely proud of the Downtown Oregon City Association for being recognized as a GAMSA winner this year,” said Sheri Stuart, coordinator of the statewide Oregon Main Street program. “I have worked with hundreds of main street communities in 24 states over the past 27 years at the state, local, and national levels. The transformation of downtown Oregon City in a relatively short amount of time is nothing short of amazing, especially since their revitalization efforts began at the start of the economic downturn.”
“Downtown’s transformation began with catalytic investments in the streetscape and façade grant programs which have attracted a diverse group of independent businesses,” said Jonathan Stone, Executive Director of the Downtown Oregon City Association. Since 2009, nearly $42 million has been invested in the district’s buildings, streetscapes, and infrastructure and 28 net new businesses have opened. Stone said, “This is an honor shared by the Oregon City community, downtown businesses, property owners, and our partner organizations. It validates the sweat and tears of everyone that has given of their time and money to make Downtown Oregon City a place we can all be proud of.”
“Downtown Oregon City’s ten years of brilliant planning and nurturing of a collaborative downtown community has earned them this prestigious nomination,” stated Nancy Ide, Oregon City Commissioner and Downtown Oregon City Association Board Member.
The National Main Street Center reported that together, this year’s semi-finalists have generated more than half a billion dollars in public and private reinvestment. The group of 10 communities created more than 4,900 new jobs, opened 917 new businesses and rehabilitated 1,232 buildings.
Along with Oregon City, other contenders for the award are Berlin, Md., Brunswick, Maine, Chillicothe, Mo., Grapevine, Texas, Howell, Mich., Saline, Mich., Rock Springs, Wyo., Tupelo, Miss. And Wausau Wis.
If Downtown Oregon City Association is selected as a Great American Main Street Award winner, it will be the first ever community in Oregon and the first on the West Coast in the last eight years.
DOCA is hosting a districtwide ‘Open House’ event April 7, noon to 5 p.m., where downtown businesses will open their doors to meet and greet customers and share the best of their business. The event features all-day happy hours, live music, “open house specials”, and unique tutorials. The award will be on display in the DOCA office where the official award video will also be screened.
On camera interviews will be available April 7, 1 p.m. 3 p.m. at DOCA Office, 814 Main Street, Oregon City, OR 97045. Media parking available (look for conned spaces) at US Bank, 901 Main Street, Oregon City, OR 97045.
About Downtown Oregon City
Downtown Oregon City is uniquely situated at the base of a bluff alongside the Willamette River. As the first Main Street in Oregon, its small-town feel is unlike any other in the metro region. It is a convenient and relaxed destination offering quality dining, shopping, and entertainment that builds on its long history of industry, innovation, and culture. It is simultaneously the “living room” of Oregon City and a principal part of the Pacific Northwest’ cultural heritage.
About Downtown Oregon City Association
Formed in 2009 as Main Street Oregon City, the Downtown Oregon City Association (DOCA) is an award-winning 501c(3) charitable non-profit organization focused on the revitalization of Oregon City’s 172-year old downtown. It is accredited nationally by Main Street America. DOCA is supported by a 13-member volunteer Board of Directors, over 150 annual volunteers, and a professional staff working on a broad cross-section of projects; all designed to support a more vibrant community, preserve and restore Oregon City’s historic civic center, and enhance the economic opportunity of Oregon City’s citizens and entrepreneurs. DOCA’s programs are rooted in six key areas: clean and safe, marketing and events, beautification, economic enhancement and research, and community engagement.
DOCA is best known for Oregon City’s most prominent civic events including First City Celebration, Oregon Trail Brew Fest, Cruise to Downtown Oregon City Car Show, and Oregon Trail(R) Game 5k. Beyond events, DOCA has been pivotal in helping property owners restore or reconstruct their facades, conducting economic research and advocating for programs that support the continued growth of existing businesses and the recruitment of new qualified businesses, and engaging in community-wide outreach.
More information about DOCA can be found on downtownoregoncity.org, Facebook, or Instagram.